The London Book Fair Unveils 2020 Live Podcast Programme

UK Book Blog Awards

London Book Fair

The live podcast line-up at The London Book Fair which is being held from 10 to 12 March 2020 has been revealed today, featuring authors, including David Mitchell, Lynda La Plante, Cressida Cowell, Alexandra Shulman, Abigail Dean and Janne Teller, as well as podcasts such as The Waterstones Podcasts, Radio 4 Extra Telling Tales, In Writing with Hattie Crisell, Bestseller Experiment, The Comma Press Podcast and Midas podcast. Returning for the second time after launching in 2019, the Fireside Chats @ The Podcast Theatre will feature live episodes of popular books podcasts, and a wide range of best-selling authors.

Waterstones Bookstore
Waterstones Bookstore

Kicking off the 2020 programme, David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas, The Bone Clocks), will be in conversation with The Waterstones Podcast ahead of the release of his new novel, Utopia Avenue (Sceptre, June 2020). The Waterstones Podcast will also interview Waterstones Childrens’ Laureate Cressida Cowell (How to Train Your Dragon), on the final day of LBF, discussing her Laureates Charter in an invitation-only event. Also on Tuesday, Grazia contributing editor, Hattie Crisell, will interview former editor-in-chief at British Vogue Alexandra Shulman (Can We Still Be Friends, Inside Vogue) about her writing process for her podcast, In Writing with Hattie Crisell, ahead of the release of Shulman’s Clothes and Other Things That Matter (Cassell, April 2020).

On Wednesday, Radio 4 Extra’s podcast, Telling Tales, will interview Lynda La Plante CBE (Prime Suspect, Widows, The Legacy) ahead of the release of her new novel, Buried (Zaffre, April 2020), and the Midas podcast by Midas PR will launch at The London Book Fair, with its first episode exploring the key trends in the book industry, with the Booksellers Associations’ Meryl Halls and Nielsen Book’s Hazel Kenyon, hosted by Ben Munro-Davies, journalist and producer at Sky.

On the final day of the Fair, the Comma Press podcast will share an insight into its Hay Festival project in collaboration with Wom@arts, Europa28: Writing by Women on the Future of Europe, with Danish author Janne Teller (Odin’s Island, The Trampling Cat) and Irish actress/director and writer Lisa Dwan, in conversation with the collection’s co-editor, Sophie Hughes and translator Annie McDermott. The Bestseller Experiment, the podcast which examines the ins and outs of how to write a bestselling novel, will interview Abigail Dean (Girl A) about her journey from page to publication, following her debut novel being snapped up by HarperCollins following a competitive nine-way auction. Finally, the Podcast Theatre will also host the UK Book Blog Awards @ LBF at 15:30 on Thursday 12 March, including a Book Podcaster of the Year category.

Jacks Thomas, director at The London Book Fair, commented, “We’re thrilled to have such a fantastic range of talented podcasters and brilliant authors taking part in the Fireside Chats @ The Podcast Theatre at LBF this year. This ever-growing channel is fundamental to the book industry, and we also look forward to celebrating the Book Podcaster of the Year at the UK Book Blog Awards.”

Fireside Chats @ The Podcast Theatre highlights will include-

  • The Waterstones Podcast with David Mitchell

David Mitchell, award-winning author of Cloud Atlas, The Bone Clocks and Ghostwritten, in conversation ahead of the release of his hotly anticipated new novel, Utopia Avenue, published in June 2020 by Sceptre. Fireside Chats @ The Podcast Theatre. Tuesday 10 March, 10:30 to 11:15

  • In Writing with Hattie Crisell and Alexandra Shulman.

Hattie Crisell’s, Grazia Contributing Editor, podcast centres on novelists, screenwriters, poets, journalists and more – to find out how they write, why they write, and what they can teach us about doing it better. Live at The London Book Fair, Hattie Crisell is in conversation with Alexandra Shulman, former editor-in-chief of British Vogue, and author of Clothes and Other Things That Matter (published by Octopus in April 2020). Fireside Chats @ The Podcast Theatre. Tuesday 10 March, 13:15 to 13:45

  • The Midas Podcast with Meryl Halls (Booksellers Association) and Hazel Kenyon (Nielsen Book).

Hosted by Sky’s Ben Munroe-Davies, the first episode of the Midas podcast will feature Meryl Halls (managing director at the Booksellers Association) and Hazel Kenyon (NielsenBook) in discussion about the current trends in the book industry. Fireside Chats @ The Podcast Theatre. Wednesday 11 March, 11:45 to 12:45

  • Radio 4 Extra Telling Tales Podcast with Lynda La Plante.

Hosted by Ali Gardiner, Radio 4 Extra’s Telling Tales podcast celebrates the very best in storytelling, showcasing different voices, and different genres, from the BBC archives and beyond. In conversation with award-winning author and screenwriter, Lynda La Plante, this live edition will explore Lynda’s illustrious career, and what she’s working on next. Fireside Chats @ The Podcast Theatre.Wednesday 11 Marcy, 14:30 to 15:15

  • The Waterstones Podcast with Cressida Cowell [by invitation only]

Cressida Cowell, Waterstones Children’s Laureate, and number one bestselling author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Oncebook series, discusses her Children’s Laureate Charter, the importance of reading for joy for kids, and issues of access, inclusion and reflection in children’s books today. Fireside Chats @ The Podcast Theatre. Thursday 12 March, 10:30 to 11:30

  • Comma Press Podcast.

The Comma Press Podcast (shortlisted for the Futurebook Awards Podcast of the Year 2019) welcomes two of the contributors to its new anthology, Europa28: Writing by Women on the Future of Europe, Danish author Janne Teller and Irish actress/director and writer Lisa Dwan, in conversation with the collection’s co-editor, Sophie Hughes and translator Annie McDermott. Forming part of the second series of the Comma Press podcast, which focuses on ‘Futures’ (whether it’s future-set fiction or forward-looking non-fiction), you’ll get a sense of how the project came to be, what influenced the writers, and what goes into imagining the future of Europe at a time when the continent is deeply disenfranchised and divided. A Hay Festival project in collaboration with Wom@arts. Fireside Chats @ The Podcast Theatre. Thursday 12 March, 12:30 to 13:30

  • The Bestseller Experiment Podcast with Abigail Dean.

Abigail Dean, debut author of Girl A (published by HarperCollins in January 2021), was bought in a nine-way auction for a six-figure sum. This live episode of the Bestseller Experiment – the podcast that examines the ins and outs of how to write a bestselling novel – will explore Abigail Dean’s journey from page to publication. Fireside Chats @ The Podcast Theatre. Thursday 12 March, 15:30 to 16:00

Press Registration

To register for your LBF press pass, please visit:

The London Book Fair wants to express our concern for everyone impacted by the COVID-19 virus and we send our warm wishes to all our book industry colleagues around the world. Our event in London is going ahead, March 10th – 12th as scheduled. We’re actively and continuously monitoring the situation around Covid-19 Coronavirus in line with Public Health England and WHO guidelines. Working with the venue, the health and safety of our exhibitors, visitors and staff is our number one priority.
For further information please get in touch either with your usual point of contact, our website or our customer services team


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